Casio Computer Co., Ltd. has developed “Let’s Photo,” a “vending machine” for commercial use that enables users to print images taken with a digital camera.
It went on sale on April 25. The machine can be operated by users, without anyone’s assistance, and can easily print images stored in a digital camera. It will be released at an open price, yet the cost for the main unit alone, excluding fees like the installation charge, is expected to be less than one million yen. (122.38 yen = US$1)
The volume retailers of cameras and of household electrical appliances are expected to be the primary target initially, and the company aims to place and locate 3,000 units in its first fiscal year.
It has slots compatible with CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Type II PC card, and FDD. The user inserts media containing images taken in the slot. Then, following the directions displayed on the LCD in front, the images can be printed out by selecting the images to be processed.
The printing method adopted is dye sublimation, a thermal transfer method. According to Casio, when compared with the conventional method to expose photographic paper to light, its durability is on the same level and it is superior in resisting deterioration when stained with humidity, oil, etc. The stores where the machines are located will determine the printing price. The company presumes that it will be around 50 yen per copy.